Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Raspberries - the second attempt

My first attempt at growing raspberries failed. How can that be, you might well ask - don't you just stick them in the ground in Tasmania and they grow like crazy? Well, good question.

There are a couple of reasons I think. First, I didn't prepare the soil enough. Our place is mostly clay and while I did dig out a trench and fill it with better soil and mulch, I was too scared to add manure and all those good things later on because the raspberry patch is located inside the fenced wallaby proof paddock - where the dogs also live. And anything like manure, compost or blood-and-bone is VERY tasty to our dogs. Also towards the end of the first growing season, the plants had some kind of infestation of what looked like tiny aphids, and they had done plenty of damage by the time they left. Then, I didn't weed the beds well enough and grass started to compete with the berries.

So I'm learning from all of this in my second planting. A few months ago I dug a deeper trench and filled it with manure, compost and rotting leaf litter from the rainforest on our land. I covered it with wire and rocks to deter the dogs from eating it and left it there to rot. Step one seems to have worked OK, as when I planted the raspberry canes last weekend the soil was rich, dark and full of enormous worms having a great time. Fingers crossed. Raspberries are my favourite fruit.

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